Friday, August 21, 2015

All Me Duty to Ye!

Hej! Aloha! Dobar dan! Latha math! All me duty to ye!

You've just been greeted in five languages - Swedish, Hawaiian, Croatian, Scottish Gaelic, and Pirate.

Okay, Pirate isn't exactly a language, but you can still learn to speak like a Pirate and converse like a native in 70 other languages using the Mango Languages database.

Are you heading on a travel study trip next May? Perhaps you're searching your family history and found out some of your ancestors were from Greece or Finland, or perhaps Thailand. Whatever your reason for learning a language, this is the place to go.

Currently these languages are available (one caveat: some languages are less developed than others, mainly those that are new to the database - keep coming back to see what has been added):

American Sign Language - Arabic (Egyptian, Iraqi, Levantine, MSA) - Armenian - Azerbaijani - Bengali - Cherokee - Chinese (Mandarin) - Croatian - Czech - Danish - Dari - Dutch - Dzongkha - English - Farsi (Persian) - Finnish - French - French, Candian - German, Greek (Modern, Ancient, Koine) - Haitian Creole - Hawaiian - Hebrew (Modern, Biblical) - Hindi - Hungarian - Icelandic - Igbo - Indonesian - Irish - Italian - Japanese - Javanese - Kazakh - Korean - Latin - Malay - Malayalam - Norwegian - Pashto - Pirate - Polish - Portuguese (Brazilian) - Punjabi - Romanian - Russian - Scottish Gaelic - Serbian - Shakespeare English - Shangahinese - Slovak - Spanish (Latin America, Spain) - Swahili - Swedish - Tagalog - Tamil - Telugu - Thai - Turkish - Tuvan - Ukrainian - Urdu - Uzbek - Vietnamese - Yiddish.

To access Mango Languages go to the Library's home page at then click the link "Databases A to Z" and find the "M" tab, then find Mango Languages in the list.

The first time you do this you'll see both a log-in section or a registration link. If you haven't registered do so at this time, or if you have registered before just log in. Once logged in the system will keep up with what languages you are studying and which lesson you are working on. You may go back and revisit a lesson or portion of a lesson at any time, going on whenever you feel comfortable.

There are also mobile apps available for Android, Apple, Kindle (Fire), and Nook. Download the Mango app to any of these devices, log-in as you have registered yourself, then enjoy learning the language of your choice anywhere you want - Mango will continue to keep up with where you are and where you are going!

Spotlight on History...

Last year we added two history databases to our collections...U.S. History in Context and World History in Context.  Both are available through the GALE/Cengage Learning family of databases.

U.S. History in Context "puts the tools of the historian into the hands of students..."  It strives to
provide comprehensive coverage of the most-studied topics, from the arrival of Vikings in North America to Vietnam, Watergate, and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.  The database contains the expected journal articles, but also books, photographs, images, government documents, biographies, court cases, and streaming video.  Coverage includes African American Perspectives, American Colonies, the Supreme Court, Economics, Events, Decades, and Cultural Trends, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, Political Constructs, Movements, and Organizations, and Wars & Conficts.

World History in Context helps the user "understand 5,000 years of civilization from a 21st-century framework.   It chronicles the rise and fall of cultures and societies across all continents and eras.  U.S. History in Context can also be found in this database, with broad subject coverage including international biography, countries, cultures and civilizations, economics, events, periods, and cultural trends, human rights, political constructs, movements and organizations, religions, as well as wars and conflicts.
Rare primary sources combine with reliable references to but content into context for every researcher.  Formats such as those found in the

Both databases are also aligned to state and national curriculum standards, making it a valuable resource for history and social science teachers at all grade levels.

What's New for 2015-2016... So Far

As usual there are some additions in databases and other resources as we begin the new academic year.

Graduate students and faculty will find the ProQuest Dissertations & Theses - Section A: Humanities & Social Sciences helpful in their research, but upper level undergraduates  may also find it useful, particularly those working on Honors Papers.  It contains indexes and abstracts to master's theses and doctoral dissertations from around the country.  Anyone in the ETBU graduate programs who produces a thesis as part of their degree requirements can have their thesis added.  Anything found in PQDTA that was produced by student's in our master's programs is accessible in full text.  Dissertations and abstracts from outside our campus may be purchased for a fee.  The library will underwrite those fees (up to a certain point) for graduate students and faculty.

Newly acquired at the end of the 2014-2015 academic year was the Nursing Collection of Films on Demand.  The library already had access to the Academic Collection.  With these collections as well as smaller video collections found in other aggregate databases, the library now can access the equivalent of over 25,000 DVDs through the streaming video format.

We have added two more Naxos products.  The first was added in the late spring and it is the Naxos Spoken Word Audio Library, which contains a large collection of streaming audio devoted to literature, history, business, and many more disciplines, with new recordings being added monthly.  During the summer we also added the Naxos Works Database which is not a streaming audio collection, but instead information on specific works by major composers - such as when the work was composed, the first performance - even the artists who were involved in the first performances when that information is available.  This information can be very helpful in developing programs for concerts, recitals, and much more.

Although it's not new, you'll see a new look when you use TigerCat this year.  A recent upgrade also gave our online catalog a fresh, clean look.  We think you'll like it!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Do You Know What You Don’t Know?

“It is worse still to be ignorant of your own ignorance.” – Saint Jerome

Last year I was given a daily desk calendar (you know, those calendars you forget to tear off daily and so you end up ripping out a chunk every few weeks) that featured humorous answers given by students on tests. Mixed in with the often hilarious exam answers were quotes related to education. The entry from Wednesday, June 26 has been taped to my computer monitor in my office ever since. “It is worse still to be ignorant of your own ignorance.” This is a quote is taken from Saint Jerome’s (who is also the Patron Saint of Libraries) Letter 53 is a daily reminder and warning that yes, even as a librarian, I am constantly in danger of being ignorant of my own ignorance.

I see this play out in real time often when I visit classes to instruct students in the ways of becoming more information literate individuals. Recently, I listened as a student told her classmates that this class (meaning the one I was about to teach) was “really going to be a waste of time because I already have all of my stuff together.” Some might fear for my ego here, but my real concern is that often our students aren’t aware of their own ignorance when it comes to doing research. In fact, I see it as one of my main objectives anytime I talk to students whether I’m in a classroom or at the reference desk. Students – information seekers – often don’t know what they don’t know. As reference librarians we spend a great deal effort honing our skills in the interview process so that we can combat this problem. One of the hardest things about getting someone to the information that they need is actually finding out what it is that they think they need. You’d be surprised how often their actual question ends up being totally different than the one they started out asking.

One of the first steps in becoming information literate is to recognize a gap in your knowledge – or, to know that you don’t know. One way I’ve started being intentional about acknowledging the information gap that a student might have is to have them go find one piece of background information on their topic. It is so very common for a student who is new to research to think of it writing about what they already *think* they know and then just finding sources that support their argument.

Like most of us, students approach searching for information using familiar methods. They “Google.” They use Wikipedia. They sometimes even ask their friends. It feels like it should be easy in today’s information world to find out the answers to your questions. In many ways it is, but in more ways the influx of information makes it more difficult to narrow down where you should look for the truth. I read a statement recently that proposed that “a weekday edition of the New York Times contains more information than the average person was likely to come across in a lifetime in 17th century England.” (Of course, I would also agree with the criticism of this idea that really this would only take into account written information as it would be impossible to quantify conversations that went on about the weather and “how about that cricket match?”) In light of this information deluge, I’m able to take on the question about the future of libraries and librarians in the age of the internet by saying that now, possibly more than ever, having someone help you to navigate the information landscape is vital.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Isn’t that PINTERESTing?

As you may have heard, the library embarked on several new adventures this summer including launching our first ever ETBU Library Pinterest account. In the past, the library has participated in social media by attempting to connect with our users through this blog, Twitter, and Facebook. As an obsessive Pinterest user myself, I have wondered in the past what purpose the ETBU library could accomplish by having a Pinterest account, and up until this summer I had been unable to nail down exactly how we could best utilize it to reach or users in a meaningful way. That was until inspiration struck while listening to a LASIR (Liberal Arts Section Information Rounds) Lightening Talk this past June at the 2014 Association of Christian Librarians Conference held at Huntington University.

During this particular Lightning Talk (a series of very short presentations given in a single period by different speakers), a colleague, Robbie Bolton -- Library Director, Spring Arbor University, shared his library’s experiences with using Pinterest as a digital display for their ebook collections. Finally, a reason to “pin” for the library!

One thing we haven’t been able to do so far at our library is to find an effective, visual way of displaying our stupendous ebook collection. And, while we know the old adage is to “not judge a book by its cover,” we also know as librarians that the visual effect can account for a lot when it comes to peaking interest in book selection.  There are studies and research being conducted as we speak on the user experience in libraries, marketing in libraries, and the like. We know that our users are becoming increasingly more visual in their engagement and that thought always echoes in the back of my mind when I think about ways to get information to our students at ETBU. After all, there is a reason that publishers pay artists and designers to come up with great cover art! Like it or not, I know that when an information seeker comes in to browse our shelves in the library the cover of the book might be the first thing that catches their eye when they are hunting through the stacks. Looking across the room from my desk as I type this I can see a wall of reference books and the books that my eyes are consistently drawn to are in a series with a religious statue, Queen Elizabeth I, a Native American, and an astronaut on the spine. Well done, encyclopedia publisher cover artist. Well done.

At the risk of over sentimentalizing, cover art has been referred to as the “threshold” or entrance way into the book (Sonzogni, 2011). In other words, by looking at the cover art you are presented with an invitation to step in or step out. What makes spreading the word about ebooks difficult is that a blue hyperlink in the catalog just doesn’t seem to compare with a glossy image on a printed book cover. Thankfully, Robbie’s example of how the White Library was using Pinterest to market ebooks to their readers was just the inspiration (and confirmation) we needed to take the Pinterest plunge.

Pinterest is by its very nature a visual discovery tool which makes it near perfect for displaying our digital ebook collections complete with their lovely cover art. We launched our ETBU Library Pinterest account in July 2014 and now have a total of 28 boards filled with new ebooks organized (in true librarian fashion) by academic discipline. Looking for a book on leadership? Check out the Pin Boards for Leadership and also Business and Entrepreneurial Leadership. Curious to see if we have any interesting biographies? You’ll really like our Biography board. Pinterest allows us to put the exciting smorgasbord (confession: I can’t say the word smorgasbord without singing the goose’s “A fair is a vertitable smorgasbord, orgasbord…” from the 1973 animated Charlotte’s Web) of over 2 million ebooks that we have on display for the world and ETBU to see. What’s my favorite part about ebooks on Pinterest? This summer I have made some truly interesting discoveries as I roamed through the digital collection. Among my favorite cover art/titles are: Walking Sideways : The Remarkable World of Crabs, Get Well Soon! : My (un)brilliant Career As a Nurse, and Leonardo's Foot : How 10 Toes, 52 Bones, and 66 Muscles Shaped the Human World – just to name a few. These are topics that I have never really even wondered about, but after seeing their lovely cover art and title I find myself intrigued and that much more excited to know that we have such things here at Jarrett Library.

Since we have begun sharing our Pinterest pages with ETBU faculty members I have had a few tell me that they “didn’t realize we had (fill in the blank) book” or “some of those covers made me want to read those books.” Ah, I love it when a plan comes together.

So take a walk through our digital stacks – whether it be on Pinterest or by searching through our catalog (or ebrary or EBSCO Ebooks or TigerProwl). Even though I’m hoping the cover art will pull you in, we both know you only get to the good stuff when you start to turn the pages.

Have an idea of something we could start pinning? Leave us a comment below! Happy pinning!

- Elizabeth Ponder, Librarian & Manager of Instruction & Information Services